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26 March, 2006

Random queries no.36

One of a series of genuine search engine enquiries which successfully brought visitors to the Ministry.  Can I help?

bottom monkey

Ha! It's not what you think, honest!

It seems a recent visitor is familiar with my childhood home village, as that's the local name of the Black Lion, the lower of the two pubs.

As to why the pubs are known as the 'Top Monkey' (Boar's Head) and 'Bottom Monkey' (Black Lion), the most credible (and it's not particularly credible!) explanation I've heard is that those working with explosives in the local coal mines (I'm not sure explosives were used in coal mines...) were nicknamed 'powder monkeys' (a name more usually used on ships), and there was some distinction about which pub individual 'monkeys frequented. I'm sceptical....

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